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How Saddam tracked foes in U.S.
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | July 14 2003 | DAVE NEWBART

Posted on 07/14/2003 2:48:47 PM PDT by knighthawk

The documents kept by the Iraqi Intelligence Service were meticulous in detail and sweeping in scope.

In some, Iraqi intelligence officers in the United States are directed to use informers to track the "criminal'' actions of one current and one former Chicago area resident, both Assyrian Christians from Iraq who founded an anti-Saddam Hussein political party. Another accuses the group of being influenced by "imperialists'' and "Zionists.''

Others include the exact dates of the group's meetings and conventions in Chicago and elsewhere, the names of the people who ran the events, those in attendance and what statements were made. Trips taken by group leaders also were noted.

"It was as if somebody was sitting among us and recording our actions,'' said Shimon Khamo, a former Chicago resident who is secretary-general of the Bet-Nahrain Democratic Alliance, founded in Chicago in 1976 to oppose the then-ruling Baath party. It now has 500 members, all Assyrian Christians, a segment long persecuted in Saddam's Iraq.

Group members now know their party probably was infiltrated. The Arabic-language intelligence documents, some of which were provided to the Chicago Sun-Times, show just how extensive Saddam's network of informants ran in the United States, the dissidents say. They also show to what degree Saddam--even as his country was strapped by economic sanctions--went to find out information about his foes.

An estimated 25 tons of the documents are only now being analyzed by the alliance and members of the Iraqi National Congress, which seized them from Iraqi intelligence headquarters after the fall of the Iraqi government. Some were seized after the first Persian Gulf War in areas under Kurdish control.

Saddam's informant network, federal law enforcement authorities allege, included Khaled Abdel-Latif Dumeisi, an Oak Lawn man charged last week with being an unregistered agent of the Iraqi government. The publisher of an Arabic-language newspaper allegedly was trained in intelligence-gathering in Baghdad. In the United States, he allegedly provided cover for Iraqi intelligence agents. He is accused of secretly taping conversations with Iraqi dissidents and surreptitiously obtaining personal phone and bank records of a former Iraqi general who defected to the United States.

In return for providing the information to the Iraqi government, he received thousands of dollars in payments from Baghdad, authorities allege. Dumeisi's attorney denies the charges.

There are as many as 200 similar informants in the United States, Mahdi al-Bassam, a member of the central committee of the Iraqi National Congress, estimates. Most are concentrated in large cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Houston, where al-Bassam lives.

Khamo, who was in Baghdad last month, returned with 60 pages of documents dealing with his organization between the mid-1980s and 2000. The documents uncovered recently were produced by a handful of informants, including a man who still lives in California, he said. Khamo declined to identify the informants, some of whom are referred to only by initials or code names. Federal authorities said Dumeisi was referred to in documents as "Sirhan.''

"It was very surprising,'' said Khamo, of Modesto, Calif. "I did not think the Iraqi government put so much effort and concentration to delay or stop our movement.''

Another target of the spy network was Guliana "Glenn'' Younan, 58, of Skokie. A father of five who runs a photo and office supply business in downtown Chicago, he is one of the founders of the Bet-Nahrain group--and was thus viewed as a threat by Iraq.

In a document dated Nov. 25, 2000, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry directs Iraqi officials in New York and Washington to use its "paid sources''--which Khamo believes refers to informants--to gather information on Younan, Khamo and other members of the Bet-Nahrain group. The document accuses the members of being paid agents of another government.

Other documents tell of a 1988 meeting between Younan and Assyrian church leaders in an "elegant restaurant in downtown Chicago.'' It details what was said and the length of the dinner--41/2 hours.

"There were guys all the time reporting on us,'' said Younan. "It's scary. A lot of the information was very accurate. Our trips, our meetings, our statements we issued--they all end up in Saddam's file.''

How the information was used is not known, but Younan has received phone threats, his cars were vandalized, and a previous business of his was broken into and torched. No arrests were made in those incidents, he said.

Dissidents suspect that informants also helped Iraqi intelligence agents carry out unsolved, execution-style murders of other opposition leaders in the United States. Still, dissidents complain that in the past they had trouble getting law enforcement to pursue individuals suspected of spying for Saddam.

Although Dumeisi was not charged in connection with any violent crimes or with espionage, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called the charges "serious'' and said informants are now being watched.

''Those who gather information in the United States about people living in America for the purpose of providing the information to hostile governments should understand that the FBI will pursue them vigorously and the government will bring charges,'' Fitzgerald said.

And Ross Rice, an FBI spokesman, said authorities are investigating additional tips generated since Dumeisi's highly publicized arrest. Gathering evidence on informants will be easier now that there is access to the Iraqi intelligence files, he said; in the past, such charges were extremely difficult to prove.

"The true smoking gun was evidence recovered inside Iraq,'' Rice said of Dumeisi's case. "We didn't have access to that evidence until two or three months ago.''


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Illinois; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1976; 1988; 200011; 20001125; almajar; assassinationplots; assassinations; assyrianchristians; assyrians; baahists; baath; baathparty; baghdad; betnahrain; chicago; chicagocell; documents; dumeisi; espionage; fitzgerald; iis; illinois; inc; intelligence; iraq; iraqi; iraqiagents; iraqiamericans; iraqichristians; iraqiintelligence; iraqwar; middleeast; oaklawn; patrickfitzgerald; saddam; saddamhussein; sirhan; spying; vandalism

1 posted on 07/14/2003 2:48:48 PM PDT by knighthawk
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To: MizSterious; rebdov; Nix 2; green lantern; BeOSUser; Brad's Gramma; dreadme; Turk2; Squantos; ...
Ping
2 posted on 07/14/2003 2:49:07 PM PDT by knighthawk (We all want to touch a rainbow, but singers and songs will never change it alone. We are calling you)
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To: All


SHOW JIM THE MONEY!!!!


3 posted on 07/14/2003 2:51:54 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: knighthawk
"It was as if somebody was sitting among us and recording our actions''

It wasn't "as if." There were among them and recording their actions.

4 posted on 07/14/2003 2:52:26 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: knighthawk
...an Oak Lawn man charged last week with being an unregistered agent of the Iraqi government.

Much too close to home.

5 posted on 07/14/2003 2:56:36 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: knighthawk
This could just be the tip of the iceberg.

Prairie
6 posted on 07/14/2003 2:59:47 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (I'm a monthly donor to FRee Republic. And proud of it!)
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To: facedown
Much too close to home.

Eyup!

Prairie

7 posted on 07/14/2003 3:00:24 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (I'm a monthly donor to FRee Republic. And proud of it!)
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To: knighthawk
The FBI was completely oblivious to these people, and somehow I doubt that they are giving them all that much attention now.

Presumably there are similar networks sponsored by Syria, by the Saudis, by Egypt, and by other Muslim countries. Not to speak of China.

It's too bad the FBI has shown so little interest in doing its job.
8 posted on 07/14/2003 3:01:43 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: facedown
Waaaay too close to home--considering most of the Chicago area is either in Wisconsin Dells, in Door County & elsewhere in Packerland at this time of year.
9 posted on 07/14/2003 3:08:45 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Cicero
It's too bad the FBI has shown so little interest in doing its job.

They were too busy making all the PSA's that end with "and that's what's happening in your FBI today." /sarcasm

10 posted on 07/14/2003 3:09:57 PM PDT by Freee-dame
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To: knighthawk
bump for later reading
11 posted on 07/14/2003 3:10:33 PM PDT by Calpernia (Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.)
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To: prairiebreeze
This could just be the tip of the iceberg.

Yup. Think Oklahoma City.

12 posted on 07/14/2003 3:16:26 PM PDT by Publius
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To: Gabrielle Reilly
Yikes.
Read later.
13 posted on 07/14/2003 3:17:39 PM PDT by Gabrielle Reilly
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To: knighthawk
Somehow we need to employ some of Saddam’s guys and tactics 'cause our spies sure do suck!

We own Iraq and with troops on the ground, Satellites in the air, aircraft carriers on the oceans, NSA reading my E mail, CIA HQ in Langley: We cannot locate any of the Iraq inner Circle!!!!

I laugh each time a see discover channel on the US’s NSA ,CIA, Delta forces, Navy Seals, Rangers and all the hi tech gear blah blah blah.

Dominos Pizza will locate Saddam his sons their entourage before our extremely overpaid NSA et all ever does.
14 posted on 07/14/2003 3:19:27 PM PDT by Kay Soze (Itís already too late to regain the United States through negotiations and radio talk shows.)
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To: Freee-dame
It's too bad the FBI has shown so little interest in doing its job.

They were too busy making all the PSA's that end with "and that's what's happening in your FBI today." /sarcasm

And, making sure that every video and DVD produced by Hollywood had it's:

WARNING! FBI

threat at the beginning of the flick. Every time I see that "warning" on a video, the only thing that comes to mind is the WTC and 911.

15 posted on 07/14/2003 3:27:57 PM PDT by elbucko
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To: knighthawk
I guess the U.S isn't the only one with a hankering for "Total Information Awareness."
16 posted on 07/14/2003 3:28:24 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Catspaw
...Wisconsin Dells...

LOL!

I hate that area. I can't even stand to drive throught it.

17 posted on 07/14/2003 3:30:47 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Kay Soze
The intelligence services have been focussing too much on high-tech stuff. People warned that they should be spending more time on human resources instead.

Everytime we can see that last ones are right.
18 posted on 07/14/2003 3:32:00 PM PDT by knighthawk (We all want to touch a rainbow, but singers and songs will never change it alone. We are calling you)
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To: facedown
I hate that area. I can't even stand to drive throught it.

So do I--but my parents lived nearby and two of my sisters worked there. I would go waaaay out of my way to go around the Dells to get to where they lived, even though on paper, going through the Dells & Lake Delton was shorter, at least during the tourist season. You can zip right through the place around Christmas time, though. It's fun to be the only car on an 8 lane road.

19 posted on 07/14/2003 3:37:59 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: valleygal; Scott from the Left Coast; AppyPappy; Coleus; Boxsford; null and void; PhiKapMom; ...
Ping, Bump!
20 posted on 07/14/2003 3:46:31 PM PDT by Calpernia (Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.)
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